Archived entries for Shopping Adventures

A bunch of awesome crap I’d buy from Hake’s if I wasn’t broke!

Hake's Americana and CollectiblesBack in March, my homies and I in The League went on a fantasy shopping spree to Hake’s Americana and Collectibles where I racked up a bill for over $1600 worth of useless but totally awesome crap that I’m certain would look fantastic adorning the walls of Casa de Crafti. It was one of my favorite League assignments to date, so I was pretty happy to see we’re doing it again this week–not only because it’s fun to window shop (hey, I’m great at picking out stuff I can’t afford to buy), but also because it requires practically no writing effort on my part. Win/win!

As a  child of the 80s browsing an auction full of collectibles decades older than myself, it was hard for me to find stuff that really “spoke” to me, as most of it was way before my time (not to mention, there was a disappointing lack of Ninja Turtles this time around).  But buried underneath all the Howdie Doodie, Roy Rogers, World War II memorabilia, and other pop culture stuff I mostly don’t care about, I was able to find a few gems that are much more “me.” And Star Wars. There’s always Star Wars…

Here’s what I bought, or would have bought, if I wasn’t living on hot dogs and baked beans right now:

 

Hakes Auction Collage

And now for the less exciting part where I explain what drew me to these items:

#1 – Set of 4 “Star Wars” Glasses

These Star Wars drinking glasses were sold in Burger King restaurants in 1978, and the set comes with the original cardboard display stand. I love the vivid colors and classic Star Wars imagery. But you know what I love more? Back when Coke was just 59 cents…

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#2 – 1991 “Batman” Statue by Graphitti Designs

It’s Batman perched on a Gargoyle. What’s not to love?  Designed by Dick Giordano and sculpted by Randy Bowen, this gothic Batman statue looks badass and captures the essence of my favorite era of Batman.

Starting Bid Price: $150.00

#3 – Rare “Space Invaders” Arcade Button

Promoting its 1980 arcade release, this mildly suggestive Space Invaders button is not only a rare piece of gaming history but also a badge of honor for nerds everywhere who don’t know what it means to score otherwise.

Starting Bid Price: $65.00

#4 – Eyeball in Hand Pez Dispenser

Of course this psychadelic Pez dispenser came from the 60s, because drugs. Back then you hippies were probably loading more than just Pez into these things. I just think it looks cool.

Starting Bid Price: $155.55

#5 – 1940s & 50s Drug-Themed Paperback Books

Speaking of drugs, these old drug novels caught my eye. Back then, people’s attitudes toward relatively harmless recreational drugs were hilarious (Reefer Madness anyone?), and not just because they apparently have no idea how to spell marijuana.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#6 – “Midnight Owl” Boxed Transistor Radio

Does this owl look familiar? He’s a replica from the 1981 fantasy film Clash of the Titans! Cooler still, he’s a working transistor radio with jeweled eyes you turn for tuning and volume. With its stop-motion weirdness and crazy Medusa head, That movie used to scare the crap out of me when I was little. But me and the Owl were cool.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#7 – Life-size “Superman the Movie” Standees

Fresh off seeing Man of Steel in theaters, I’m nostalgic for the 80s Superman movies I grew up with. As much as I enjoyed Henry Cavill’s performance, Christopher Reeves will always be “my” Superman. This lot of life-size Superman standees are 69″ tall and would look great in my future movie theater room. Or laying next to me in bed. Can you give me and Superman some time alone, please?

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#8 – Rare 40″ Tall “Pee Wee Herman” Doll

YES! One of my life goals is to own a Pee Wee Herman doll! Look, I never said I was much of a dreamer. Sadly, this doll isn’t the kind that talks, so I guess I’ll just have to keeping working on my other life goal of perfecting my Pee Wee Herman impression.

Starting Bid Price: $200.00

#9 – Indiana Jones “Raiders of the Lost Ark” Action Figure

With the exception of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I love all of the Indiana Jones movies and have fond memories of watching them with my Dad. This Indiana Jones action figure from Raiders of the Lost Ark is fully poseable, has “quick draw” whip action, and captures Harrison Ford just the way I like him–young, handsome, and capable of making good movies.

Starting Bid Price: $121.00

#10 – “Snoopy” Moon Landing Button from 1969

The excitement and wonder of the Moon Landing is one of those things I’m jealous older generations got to experience. In stark contrast, my “exciting” space memory is being sent home from school the day the Challenger exploded, trying to understand why all the teachers were crying. (Hey, I was only 5.) I love this Snoopy moon landing button for it’s historic significance and simple innocence.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#11 – Topps Insult Postcards/Funny Valentines

I really dig the wacky artwork on these Topps Insult Postcards wax packs from the 1960s. If you sent me one of these for Valentine’s Day, I’d have totally gone to first base with you.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#12 – “The Golden Girls” Cast-Signed Photo

My love for a sitcom about four old ladies living together started because there was nothing else to watch late at night on the shitty TV in my bedroom while growing up, but has since turned genuine. With only 1 out of 4 cast members still alive, it’s only a matter of time before this Golden Girls signed photo skyrockets in value. No pressure, Betty White.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#13 – “Robot” Battery-Operated Directional Toy

I must have a thing for these retro Japanese robot toys, because I picked out a similar-looking item in the last auction assignment. This one is battery-operated and changes direction whenever he runs into an obstacle.

Starting Bid Price: $500.00

#14 – “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” Metal Lunchbox

Classic Spielberg, and one of my favorite movies of all time. This E.T. tin lunchbox features great, Alvinesque artwork and comes with a matching Thermos.

Starting Bid: $100.00

#15 – “Blinky the One-Eyed Florida Gator” Button

This item is kind of an oddball thing to pick, even for me. I just love the sheer kitschiness of it, and the fact that at some point, back in the 1960s, the people of Florida worshipped a one-eyed alligator. Too bad there’s just a button. I would watch a whole cartoon of this.

Starting Bid Price: $65.00

#16 – “Star Wars” Jewelry Lot

Finally, some Star Wars stuff for girls! This lot of Star Wars jewelry includes three rings and stick pins bearing the likenesses of Darth Vader, 3CPO, and R2D2, as well as a set of six pendants featuring these same characters plus Chewbacca, a Stormtrooper, and an X-wing.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#17 – Lot of “Blackstar” Carded Action Figures

I have this auction to thank for helping me remember Blackstar, a favorite fantasy cartoon from my childhood I had long forgotten. I almost peed my pants in excitement when I took a closer look at these action figures and realized what they were. A) That cartoon was awesome. B) I had no idea there was an accompanying toyline (but I shouldn’t be surprised, since this is the 80s we’re talking about), and C) I must find a way to re-watch it soon!

Starting Bid Price: $250.00

#18 – Early 1900s Risque Corkscrew

Another oddball item for me. I like weird, fringe stuff like this that reminds me how some things throughout human history never change–Victorian people were horny too! I imagine this corkscrew would have been quite the conversation-starter back then, what with the placement of that screw…well, do you really need me to connect the dots here?

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#19 – Vincent Price Horror Record Album

I would listen to Vincent Price read from a phone book I love the man’s voice so much, but one of the more entertaining things he’s known for are his narrations of horror stories. This double LP set features The Story of Witchcraft, Demonology and The Occult.

Starting Bid Price: $100

#20 – Franken Berry Cereal Box Flat

Franken Berry isn’t my favorite of the General Mills monster cereals–an honor that belongs to the elusive Yummy Mummy–but he is is the only monster who can lay claim to turning little kids’ poop pink, so that makes him #2 in my book (pun fully intended). This Franken Berry cereal flat is notable for its free Monster Action Ring offer.

Starting Bid Price: $200.00

What’s the damage?

I only had starting bid prices to go on, so the actual total would probably be many hundreds if not thousands higher, but here’s how I did:

Hake's Receipt

I’m kind of proud I spent even more money than last time!

Let’s go shopping!

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to go on another fantasy shopping spree at Hake’s Americana and Collectibles. Let’s take a look at what everyone bought!

Buy some rad stickers, why don’t ya?

As usual, I fail when it comes to promoting Cult Film Club, being over a week late in announcing that we have TOTALLY RAD STICKER PACKS for sale!

I’m hoping the all caps will make up for my lackadaisicalness (it’s a word, I checked) and put me back in the good graces of my co-hosts Pax and Shawn who’ve been (probably) talking behind my back.

Take a look at these bad boys:

Cult Film Club Die-Cut Stickers

These limited run stickers were designed by our own Shawn Robare and feature his original artwork (again, I do nothing around here). Instead of begging you guys for tips and donations to help with production and hosting costs, Shawn had the brilliant idea to win you over with “no tipping” Steve Buscemi stickerlust.

CFC Sticker Packs

Each pack is $7 and includes the Cult Film Club logo, Official Member Badge, Phantom Ticket Taker, and Mr. No Tipping himself, Steve Buscemi.

All proceeds go directly toward our production and hosting costs, and not, I repeat NOT toward cans of Four Loko, which is how we make the magic happen.

Best $3 I Ever Spent: Bicycle Zombie Playing Cards

When the zombie apocalypse happens–and it will–you’re going to need a good set of playing cards to pass the time with other survivors.

I suggest Bicycle Zombie Playing Cards:

Deck of Bicycle Zombie Playing Cards

You really can’t go wrong with Bicycles. They’ve been making these cards since 1885.  You think a little thing like the zombie apocalypse is going to stop them?

Back of Zombie Cards Box

I picked these up in Walgreens the other day for just $3. With priceless zombie survival tips printed on every card, this deck has already paid for itself.

Zombie Playing Cards

The face cards for every suit feature different-looking zombies. Clubs are a sickly flesh color, clearly in the early stages of decay. Hearts are a pale, icy blue–perhaps these are cold-weather zombies? Diamonds are a putrid yellow reminiscent of puss. Finally, Spade zombies are a classic grayish-green.

Zombie Face Cards

The Joker card pays homage to the original, with a zombified King rising from his grave marked 808. Nice touch.

Zombie Joker Card

The backs of the cards feature a bloody take on the zombie King theme, with rotting hands stretching into the four corners.

Card Backs

I’ve already stashed these away in my survival kit. If you’re lucky enough to end up in my group of survivors, you won’t be without entertainment.

Target’s $1 section has some really cool, geeky stuff in it lately.

I usually skip past Target’s dollar section (that little crap-filled area close to the front door, strategically located so that you’re required to walk past it), having learned to ignore the siren call that is messy aisles of picked-through bins overflowing with cheap sweat shop goods from China. But this past weekend, whaddya know, I was actually shopping for cheap crap! But cheap crap sounds so much nicer when you call it “stocking stuffers,” doesn’t it?

Anyway, I ended up finding some pretty cool little chotchkies that may or may not have been been made by child laborers (but probably). A stronger, more socially aware person would have marched past such foolishness, off to buy USDA Certified Organic Green laundry detergent or whatever the hell it is those types of people buy. But this is me we’re talking about. I live for cheap crap. So I afforded myself the excuse of needing to fill stockings with it, and took a closer look. Usually I’m pretty disappointed in this section (or “The Dollar Spot,” I think it’s called) but not this time. I found tons of great little gifts. The only problem is that most of them are for me.

Okay, some of them are actually destined to go in someone’s stocking, like this first item here (don’t worry, the person who this is for never reads my blog. I know, he is less cool because of it.):

‘A Christmas Story’ Stationery

A Christmas Story Staionery

It certainly is glorious! Target had a bunch of these A Christmas Story themed stationery items in various designs. I chose this particular notepad because The Old Man is my favorite character, as well as the person’s who this is for. (Wait, did I say that right? It’s very late. My grammar goes to hell after 2:00 a.m.) KNOT A FINGER!

Scribble Stuff Sushi Erasers

Scribble Stuff Sushi Erasers

This falls firmly in the Shit I Don’t Need category, but LOOK HOW CUTE!! I mean I suppose I could always erase something with these, but that would only destroy them in the process and thus erase my affection for these inedible but delectable-looking pieces of rubber sushi. But it’s that miniature bottle of soy sauce that really sold me on these. I like the level of consideration that went into this presentation–like, someone actually knew I would demand fake soy sauce for my fake sushi. Bless them.

Pac-Man Band-Aids Adhesive Banadages

Pac-Man Adhesive Bandages

I swear, I will never get used to calling non-Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages “adhesive bandages.” I have a house rule that my medicine cabinet only be stocked with cool Band-Aids, and I can’t think of any that are much cooler than these…until Nickelodeon gets on the ball and puts out some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ones. I had to buy two packages, though, because they stiff you pretty bad on the quantity. Only 10 bandages? Really? At least they have three different awesome designs:

Pac-Man Band-Aids

Makes me want to cut myself just to have an excuse to wear one.

Toadstool Planner

Toadstool Planner

As tech-geeky as I am, in certain aspects of my life I’m incurably old school. For instance, I always keep a small combination planner/address book like this in my bag, as well as a Moleskine journal for jotting down spur-of-the-moment thoughts, ideas, dates and other things I want to remember. For some reason I retain things better when I actually go through the process of writing them down versus letting technology do all the work for me. I have an affinity for anything with mushrooms/toadstools on it (particularly of the 8-bit variety), and I hadn’t bought a 2013 planner yet. This spoke to me.

Space Invaders…whatever these are.

Space Invaders Drink Markers

The package says these are “drink markers,” but they’re basically small, clingy pieces of Space Invaders-shaped silicone. I guess you’re supposed to stick them on your can of Natty Boh Ice, or whatever you damn hipster kids are drinking these days. But you could stick them on anything, really. Even skin. Think about those possibilities for a moment, and all the fun wordplay potential (INVADE HER!). I’d like to try to come up with a cool use for these–maybe laptop case decorations or something. Any suggestions?

The Most Powerful Christmas Sweater in the Universe!

Who among you has the balls to wear this bad boy to the office Christmas party?

The Most Powerful Christmas Sweater in the Universe

He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Sweater

In a feat of ironic fashion design strength I didn’t think was humanly possible, 80s Tees has created a Christmas sweater even more glorious than their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sweater that I may or may not admit to owning. With the bar for ugly Christmas sweaters having been set so high now, where does 80s Tees go from here?

Black Friday “Almost” Impulse Buys

As I was saying in my last post, yesterday I was dragged out into the Black Friday madness by my sister. Shopping definitely qualifies as one of my least favorite activities, let alone shopping on one of the busiest days of the year when there’s a real possibility of being trampled to death. It’s also dangerous for me to go shopping without a pre-defined plan or any sense of budget because what usually happens is I get bored and start actively looking for crap to waste money on, almost as if I’m trying to justify my being there. I know, it’s unhealthy.

So while trapped at Target, as my sister trolled the shoe and clothing aisles, I went off in search of TMNT stuff. But along the way I passed by a few weird/cool/stupid things that took a lot of will power not to buy.  Here are three Black Friday impulse buys I’m proud of myself for resisting:

#1 – Awkward Family Photos: The Board Game (Wtf?)

Awkward Family Photos: The Board Game

What the hell? The Awkward Family Photos blog has a board game out? When did this happen?? I guess nowadays anything can be a board game, and internet pop culture is ripe for the picking. I’m not even really sure what the object of this game is supposed to be, but my guess is something that involves wearing hideous matching outfits and yelling at your dad to stop drinking so much.  What’s next? A board game version of We Have Lasers?*

*Actually that’d be kind of awesome.

#2 – Saved by the T-shirt.

Kelly Kapowski!

As much as I love Saved by the Bell and the idea of proudly displaying said love for Saved by the Bell on a t-shirt, I decided  against wearing Kelly Kapowski.  I mean, that’d be kind of gay, right? Where the hell is the Zack Morris t-shirt?

#3 – Darth Paper Strikes Back & other cool books I had no idea existed.

Darth Paper Strikes Back!

These caught my eye for obvious reasons, but I had never heard of them before.  I love the papercrafty play-on-words and the design of the Star Wars characters which kind of protrude from the front cover. I know they’re children’s books, but has anyone out there actually read them? Would you recommend them? (For someone who’s 31 going on 12?)

Jesus I need to get out more.

Chuck This Out! Ultimate Turtles Fan Book

I didn’t really make a deliberate effort to go out shopping on Black Friday, but was dragged out of my cave by my older sister and sometime in the afternoon we wound up at my local Target. I figured while I was there I might as well try to make the most of it, so naturally I gravitated toward the toy aisle in search of Ninja Turtle stuff, but as I mentioned on Twitter, that ended up being a bust.

[tweet https://twitter.com/shezcrafti/status/272079720219291648]

On the bright side, it warms my heart to see empty pegs of TMNT toys, especially next to all those other (still quite fully-stocked) shelves of action figures. It means they’re selling well, the kids are loving them, and best of all, we’ll get more.

My trip to Target was not a total waste, however. I scored a copy of the Ultimate Turtles Fan Book for $4.99, something I’ve been trying to hunt down for months. It was the last one on the shelf. (I know, I could have just ordered one from Amazon, but what’s the fun in that?) The book has a ton of great-looking posters, a few activities, and over 50 stickers.

Here are some photos of the pages:

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Fan Book

Inside Front Cover

Leonardo

Michelangelo

Raphael

Donatello

Splinter

Word Search

The “Chuck This Out!” poster of Michelangelo has to be my favorite. Not only is that a great pun, but I find the orange and purple color scheme strangely appealing.

Chuck This Out!

April O'Neil

Beat This!

Lean, Mean & Green!

The Kraang

TMNT Stickers

This Is Epic!

Maze

It's Go Time!

There’s more, but the rest of the pages are pieces of a larger poster that you’d have to rip out and piece together to assemble, which I’d rather not do.

For $1.99, I also couldn’t pass up this roll of TMNT gift wrap. Actually, I’m kind of a gift wrap hoarder. I have an area in my basement that’s full of vintage wrapping paper, printed boxes, gift tags, etc. and I love to get creative with it. I can’t wait to have an excuse to use this on someone’s gift.

Nickelodeon TMNT Gift Wrap

TMNT Gift Wrap

This is one of the stupidest catalog products I’ve ever seen.

Little-known fact about ShezCrafti: I have a secret love for browsing shitty catalogs–the cheaper and more crap-filled, the better! Harriet Carter, Carol Wright Gifts, Walter Drake, As Seen on TV, etc.–there is no finer bathroom reading in all the land. I don’t ever buy anything, I just enjoy looking at all the junk because it never ceases to amaze me how much useless crap Americans buy.

Every now and then I stumble on gems like this one from ABC Distributing:

Jot it Down Pocket Journal

Here, I’ll blow it up because the stupid is kind of hard to see:

Internet Passwords

It’s one thing to write down your internet passwords and carry them around with you in your pocket, as this product’s title suggests. It’s a whole ‘nother level of stupid to write them down in a journal with “Internet Passwords” emblazoned on the front cover. The catalog’s description for this product offers the following advice:

“If your internet user names and passwords are scattered everywhere on sticky notes and paper scraps, end the chaos with the Internet Passwords journal. “

Yes, let’s end the chaos! You should start by deleting yourself from the internet because clearly you’re doing it wrong. I hope whoever buys this thing has their identity stolen by Nigerians.

I don’t NEED this ridiculously cute Toaster USB Hub, but I want it so bad!

I mean, just look at it.

Toaster USB Hub

Toast USB

This USB Toaster Hub and toast family is the latest evil product from ThinkGeek that I’m pretty sure was designed specifically to take my money. This is one of those times where I have to have a long, hard talk with myself about buying cute plastic things I don’t need. I’m hoping that posting about it here will get it out of my system because all this adorableness doesn’t come cheap:

The toaster itself will set you back $27.99 and doesn’t even come with any toast. Butta, Ry Ry, Crisp and Tato each cost an additional $24.99 and only have a 4G capacity. No matter how cute these are, that’s roughly $130 for only 16G of storage.

MUST RESIST.

Old School TMNT Stuff Spotted at the Mall

It has been years, possibly even a decade, since I last set food inside a Spencer’s or a Hot Topic. Spencer’s is the place to go when you need some edible panties or over-the-hill gag gift, and Hot Topic may as well be named Emozon, Gothmart, or Hipsters R’ Us.

But strolling past these stores through the mall yesterday my eyes could not help but be drawn to large displays of that unmistakable shade of ooze green:

Retro Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stuff!

TMNT Stuff

Naturally I couldn’t resist picking up a few things (cheap Wii games aren’t the only thing I bought yesterday!). I got a sweet-looking wallet, lanyard with keychain, shot glass, and a strawberry-scented car air freshener that has this kickass TurtleVan design:

TMNT Car Air Freshener

Here’s the other side of the shot glass, which is one of those larger ones that will be perfect for shots of Midori.

TMNT Shot Glass

There were also t-shirts, sets of individual shot and drinking glasses, backpacks, stickers, buttsons, badgets–pretty much any type of tchotchke you can think of.

I don’t know if retro-style TMNT merchandise has always been as “hot” at Spencer’s and Hot Topic as it seems to be right now, but my guess is that it’s a well-timed marketing launch to reel in TMNT fans my age and cross-promote the new Nickelodeon show (which premieres September 29th!). Whatever the reason, I love it. TURTLE POWER!

Right now seems like a good time to buy Wii games.

Wii Game Bargains

Yesterday my shopaholic sister dragged me to the local mall, which is usually my idea of Hell, but the trip ended up being worthwhile. While she was in Payless shopping for cheap shoes, I ducked into the neighboring GameStop and had a good look around.

Wii games, especially used  pre-owned Wii games, seem to have dropped in price significantly since the last time I looked, which was probably a couple of months ago. I picked up pre-owned copies of Epic Mikey, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Okami* for $11 – $15 each.

With the Wii U rumored to be releasing sometime in November and retailers anxious to unload this stuff, I can only imagine Wii game prices will continue to come down as we get closer to the Wii U launch date. If you still have a Wii and have been meaning to get around to playing some of the console’s top-rated titles, now might be a good time to pick them up.

*If you’re wondering why I bought the Wii version of Okami versus waiting for the HD remake that’s coming to PS3 in November, it’s because of this, in the vain hope it will be a collector’s item someday. I’m still going to buy Okami HD anyway!

And I’m just going to leave this here…

Because it’s even more hilarious now.

WII PRINTS MONEY!

Someone just handed me a blank check!

Blank Check

Money is no object in this week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, in which we’re issued a blank check to go “pretend shopping” over at Profiles in History, the world’s largest auctioneer & dealer of original Hollywood memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, and vintage signed photographs and manuscripts.

Up for auction is an incredible lot of Hollywood memorabilia and pop culture artifacts from The Dreier Collection, the private archive of billionaire Chad Dreier, who’s collection of iconic movie props, costumes, toys, photographs and other treasures spans over a century of entertainment and pop culture history. Basically, it is full of win and awesome.

Flipping through the pages of the collection’s catalog, I couldn’t help but feel like:

Buy All The Things!

However, Brian from Cool & Collected (founder and Supreme Overlord of The League) said we had to save some things for our fellow League members and can’t hoard all the cool stuff for ourselves. Okay, Dad. Fine.

I genuinely agonized over my pretend purchases, but I think I’ve finally come to five solid decisions:

Costume & Display from ‘Edward Scissorhands’

Value: $60,000 – $80,000

This thing is the real deal–an original, screen-used costume that Johnny Depp actually wore during the filming of Edward Scissorhands, one of my all-time favorite movies from the golden era of Tim Burton, before he lost his goddamn mind. It comes complete with a pair of resin hand blades and a realistic-looking (but midly-creepy) display mannequin. But the major selling point for me is that Johnny Depp’s balls probably touched this thing.

Edward Scissorhands Costume & Display

Michael Jackson’s ‘BAD’ Costume

Value: $200,000 – $300,000

I don’t care who you are, everybody loves or at one point used to love Michael Jackson, including me—maybe not as much as Corey Feldman, but enough to want to own this iconic piece of HIStory from one of the last good MJ eras before things got all weird. When I picture Michael Jackson performing in my head, THIS is the outfit I envision him wearing.

Michael Jackson Bad Costume

Complete Batman Costume from  ‘Batman Returns’

Value: $30,000 – $50,000

Only $30,000 for a batsuit that Michael Keaton actually wore? Ha! Mere chump change. It even comes complete with a life cast of Michael Keaton, which I’m buying specifically because he looks completely constipated. It’s the perfect conversation starter for all the parties I will inevitably have, because everyone will want to come to my house to see this thing.

“Hey, is it just me or does Batman look constipated?”

“LOL he totally does! Are there any cupcakes left?”

Batman Costume from Batman Returns

Wolverine’s Claws from ‘X2: X-MEN United’

Value: $20,000 – $30,000

Wolverine is not my favorite X-MEN character (an honor that goes to Gambit), but what X-MEN fan wouldn’t want to own a set of claws that Hugh Jackman actually used in the films? The definition of bad ass.

X-MEN Wolverine Claws

’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ Attraction Poster

Value: $2000 – $3000

This gorgeous poster caught my eye right away because of its eye-popping colors and because GIANT SQUIDS RULE, obviously. Upon closer inspection, however, I learned that it’s an original hand-silkscreened poster that was once used to promote Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride, an attraction that sadly closed down in 1994. I’ve only been to Disney World twice in my life, but I’m grateful that I got to ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at least one of those times.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

With an estimated value of only $2000 – $3000, this poster is the equivalent of buying a pack of gum while you’re in the checkout line. But I’ve got a blank check, so why not tack it on? I’m feeling saucy.

My shopping spree total:

Somewhere between OMGWTF!? and “in my dreams.”

Price Tag

Let’s see what my fellow Leaguers went shopping for!

Won­der­ing what this is all about? This week’s assign­ment from  The League of Extra­or­di­nary Blog­gers  was to pretend we had a blank check to purchase anything we wanted from The Dreier Collection auction over at Profiles in History. Here’s what my fellow Leaguers purchased:

Three Terrible-for-Me Things I’m Doing Today

I’m bitter about having to work on a Saturday, so I’m doing what I always do when life sucks: indulging in awesome things that are terrible for me.

#1 – Eating this.

I’m typically a diehard Ben & Jerry’s fan when it comes to ice cream (food of the freaking gods: Late Night Snack and Half Baked) but this week I discovered this amazing flavor of Turkey Hill ice cream:

Turkey Hill Party Cake

It’s vanilla ice cream swirled with buttercream frosting and rainbow-colored cake pieces. If I had to describe its taste, it’s somewhere between amazeballs and unicorn poop. It’s vanilla-y and cake-y as you’d expect, but those frosting swirls take it to another level.

There was this cereal I used to love as a kid called Sprinkle Spangles that had these candy sprinkles that would melt in my milk and I’d swirl them around and make all kinds of crazy colors. That’s what this ice cream looks and tastes like.  And the best part is it’s only like $3 for a whole half-gallon, versus B&J’s ridiculously-overpriced pints (five dollars for 14 ounces of ice cream, Ben & Jerry? Really?).

It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking some up.

Party Cake Ice Cream

#2 – Listening to this.

This isn’t so much terrible for me as it is for my boyfriend who’s having to put up with it:

Freestyle Forever 80s & 90s Hits

Clearly my musical tastes are superior.

I found this absolute jewel of a compilation album on Spotify a few weeks ago. Don’t let the tacky album art (which reminds me of those awful “best of the decade” hits albums that never feature the original artists) and gratuitous use of lens flare fool you–there’s some great stuff on here: Grandmaster Flash, Dazz Band, Shannon, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Johnny O, and of course Freestyle with my personal favorite, “Don’t Stop the Rock” and lots more.

#3 – Spending way too much money on this.

Shellraiser

Last night I got a little hysterical after the debut of the opening intro sequence for Nickelodeon’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot and came pretty close to weeping openly from the sheer awesomeness of it. Hearing the the new theme song, which mixes in familiar phrases from the classic TMNT theme song we all know and love, got me right in the childhood.

It made me feel like this:

My natural reaction was to buy every new Nickelodeon TMNT action figure that currently exists–in doubles!

But I didn’t stop there. Today I went back and ordered all the vehicles, including the badass chunk of plastic you see above. I love that in this incarnation of TMNT, the party wagon is named “The Shellraiser” and is described as a “street to sewer assault vehicle.” How could I not buy that?

Here are the stock pics of everything in boxes:

[nggallery id=11]

And then I also purchased one each of the TMNT Classic Collection figures from Amazon.

[nggallery id=12]

Here’s the list of everything I picked up:

  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Leonardo (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Donatello (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Raphael (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Michaelangelo (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Splinter (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure April O’Neil (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Shredder (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Kraang (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Basic Figure Foot Soldier (x2)
  • Nick TMNT Shellraiser
  • Nick TMNT Ninja Stealth Bike
  • Nick TMNT Dragon Chopper
  • TMNT Classic Collection Leonardo
  • TMNT Classic Collection Donatello
  • TMNT Classic Collection Raphael
  • TMNT Classic Collection Michaelangelo

I can’t wait for these things to arrive. I’m going to be the coolest thirty-year-old in the neighborhood.

This LEGO Portal set is not a lie.

Show of hands: who wants an official LEGO Portal set? All of you? I thought so.

You can help make it happen for real by supporting Brickthing’s amazing LEGO Portal project on CUUSOO. All you have to do is sign up for a CUUSOO account, click the green Support button, and answer a few simple questions like why you’re interested and how much you’d pay. It’s just a survey and doesn’t involve any exchange or pledging of actual currency.

What is CUUSOO? It’s kind of like LEGO’s own version of KickStarter where people share their ideas for LEGO set concepts and get others to vote on them, with the goal of LEGO producing it as an official LEGO product.

Feast your eyes on these exquisitely detailed concepts:

LEGO Portal Set

LEGO Portal Pieces

I count the Portal games among my top gaming experiences of all time, not only because the story and physics-puzzle gameplay are so incredible, but there’s just something about roaming the sterile environments of the Aperture Science lab, pushing big red buttons and dodging turret lasers. These concepts show how perfectly the game’s visual aesthetic lends itself to LEGO. It’s almost like Portal was destined for LEGO. And on the off-chance you’re reading this, LEGO, I would also play the shit out of a LEGO Portal video game.

Thanks to fellow Leaguer Tophat Sasquatch for bringing this to my attention.

This Kindle, iPad & Nook Cover is the Answer to ‘The Neverending Story’

Neverending Story Kindle Cover

For today’s post about cool but frivolous products I shouldn’t be spending money on, I discovered these handmade covers for iPad, Kindle and Nook designed to look like The Neverending Story, one of my favorite ’80s fantasy films. It even has a perfect reproduction of the Auryn symbol, just like the dusty old book in the movie.

Each one is handcrafted by Grimcat Productions (who also makes this kickass Mario question block cover) from leather and suede and bound with filigree. If I hadn’t already spent a lot of money on a light-up leather cover for my Kindle Touch, I would totally buy one of these, which range in price from $58.95 to $65.95 depending on your device. Maybe if I ever get an iPad…

I can just imagine curling up on a rainy day with this thing wrapped around a good fantasy book. Now excuse me while I go try to get that damn song out of my head.

I don’t collect LEGO, but I’d buy this Haunted House.

The last LEGO set I owned only had four different colors of bricks. It’s not that I don’t like LEGOs or didn’t ever lust after a set, it’s just that I spent most of my childhood (and allowance money) on things like video games and comic books. Really though, I think I was just always holding out for that official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles LEGO set that we never got.

I realize LEGO has done a lot of amazing things since then, but this by far one of the coolest:

LEGO Monster Fighters Haunted House

The Monster Fighters “10228 Haunted House” is a new horror-themed LEGO set that will be released this September.

Here’s what the inside looks like:

And it comes with this set of adorable LEGO monsters, including two glow-in-the-dark ghosts. Zombie Chef is my personal favorite:

I would buy this thing just to sit out for Halloween, but I can’t put my finger on why I want it so much. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of one of my favorite toys from early childhood:

Weebles Haunted House Toy

The only drawback about the LEGO Haunted House is that it’ll set you back $179.99.

What do Hoggle and Jareth from ‘Labyrinth’ smell like?

Labyrinth Perfume

Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies of all time, but I’m not the type of girl who’s into things like perfume, so I’ll probably pass on these Labyrinth perfumes that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has dreamed up. But I do think it’s pretty cool that someone’s out there making a lame product like perfume a little more awesome.

Now someone really needs to invent Scratch ‘N Sniff internet technology so that I can smell these five Labyrinth-inspired scents:

“13 Hours”

13 hours

What it supposedly smells like: Osmanthus and raw honey with lavender, chamomile, white peppermint, raspberry, honeysuckle, thyme, bergamot, and Dracula orchid. 

What it SHOULD smell like: A mild blend of dirty diapers and that indescribable sour milk “baby” smell.

“Fairy Bites”

fairy bite

What it supposedly smells like: A dark, earthy ginger cider. 

What it SHOULD smell like: Uselessness.

“Goblin Cider”

goblin cider

What it supposedly smells like: Fermented pumpkin, brown leather, dust, tobacco leaf, and dark woods. 

What it SHOULD smell like: Halitosis with a hint of grain alcohol.

“Hoggle”

hoggle

What it supposedly smells like: Fermented pumpkin, brown leather, dust, tobacco leaf, and dark woods. 

What it SHOULD smell like: Urine, poisoned peaches and betrayal.

“Jareth”

jareth

What it supposedly smells like: Ethereal lilac fougere and gleaming leather with ti leaf, tonka absolute, white musk, and oudh. 

What it SHOULD smell like: Hairspray and ball sweat.

Where’s the Bog of Eternal Stench perfume?

That’s the kind of shit I’d buy. Seems like a wasted opportunity on Black Phoenix’s part.

Bog of Eternal Stench

If you find the idea of Labyrinth perfume charming, you might also be interested to know that Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs has crafted scents for other ’80s favorites like Fraggle Rock and The Last Unicorn, as well as gothic staples like Neil Gaiman’s works and Gris Grimly.

‘Fairy Quest’ Comic Comes to KickStarter (and Takes My Money)

Yet another awesome KickStarter project that just makes me want to start throwing money at the computer screen:

Fairy Quest Outlaws

Fairy Quest: Outlaws is the first book of the Fablewood saga, a long-term project and collaboration between renown comic industry veterans Humberto Ramos and Paul Jenkins, the creative team behind Marvel Comics’ Spectacular Spider-Man and Peter Parker: Spider-Man, and Revelations.  The pair describes their work on Fairy Quest as “a labor of love.”

The book first appeared as a limited edition hardbound run in 2011 and immediately sold out of its 1000-copy print run after just two convention appearances.  The creators have taken to KickStarter to self-publish and raise funding for a second print run, in the form of this beautifully bound hardcover edition:

Fairy Quest Comic Hardcover Book

Backers who pledge $30 or more will receive the book, but for $40 you’ll get a signed and numbered copy.  The visuals in this book are absolutely gorgeous. Ramo’s amazing artwork leaps off the page with Leonardo Olea’s brilliant coloring. To see more, check out this 6-page preview.

What is Fairy Quest?

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Fairy Quest, here’s a snippet from Comic Book Resources’ recent interview with creator Humberto Ramos:

“Fairy Quest: Outlaws is the first of four books that tells the story of the Fablewood Kingdom, a place where all the fairy tale stories exist for one sole purpose: to tell their story. Every day they have to go to “work” and replay the stories every mom or dad read to their kids at bedtime. Life is quiet and simple if you follow this simple command: “Do not deviate.”

But well, things are about to get shaken up a little in Fablewood because some of the inhabitants aren’t happy anymore following the rules. Take Little Red and Mr. Woof, who both decide they wanted to stop being enemies and become friends; not a big deal, right? Everybody wants to have a true friend for like, but in Fablewood this is a problem… a big one.

So suddenly Little Red and Mr. Woof turn from the most dearest of Fablewood’s inhabitants to dangerous outlaws, and they find out the only way to keep their treasured friendship is to leave the kingdom.

That’s where their journey begins.”

(via CBR)

This makes the third KickStarter project in as many months that I’ve pledged. Can this be considered an addiction?

13 Unique Etsy Finds Inspired by ‘Labyrinth’

I was cruising around on Etsy today (as I often tend to do when I have  money burning a hole in my pocket) and came across some pretty awesome handmade creations inspired by the greatest 80′s fantasy film, Labyrinth.  Below is a sampling of the most interesting items I could find, which range from cute to creepy.

Now hurry up, because you’ve only got 13 hours left to solve the labyrinth.

Custom ‘Jareth’ Doll

Sure it’s a little creepy, but kinda cute at the same time.  At least CavingInn managed to get the size of David Bowie’s package correct, which I’m sure is the primary reason why someone would purchase this one-of-a-kind Jareth doll in the first place.  Er—that is, from what I hear.

Custom OOAK Jareth Doll inspired by Labyrinth

“You have no power over me!” Framed Artwork

With this framed typography quote from BearAndRobot, you’ll never have trouble remembering this line again.

You Have No Power Over Me framed print inspired by Labyrinth

‘Sarah’ Costume

Sarah was rocking the puffy shirt long before Seinfeld. FaerySpellCreations made this billowy custom blouse and vest inspired by Sarah’s outfit in the film.  I recommend pairing it with jeans and cheap plastic jewelry to get the full effect.

Sarah's Shirt Vest Costume inspired by Labyrinth

Adorable Stuffed ‘Ludo’

This little guy is a handmade creation of felt and fur by Peludossa, who somehow managed to make Ludo even more adorable than he already is.

 

Plush OOAK Handmade Ludo inspired by Labyrinth

Hand Sewn ‘Wild Gang’ Plush

With one of these hand sewn fire goblins by Peludossa, you can “chilly down with the Wild Gang” (whatever the hell that means) until you remember you’ve  got a baby brother to save.  Sadly, the stuffed version doesn’t have a removable head.

Wild Gang Firey Plush inspired by Labyrinth

‘Junk Lady’ Handmade Art Doll

The Junk Lady was one of the coolest goblins in the film, and happens to also be one of the coolest items on this list.  For $100, JunkPunkshop will handcraft an original, one-of-a-kind goblin hag made of polymer clay who carries around all sorts of miscellaneous household objects on her back.

Junk Lady OOAK Art Doll inspired by Labyrinth

‘Jareth’ Pendant & Masquerade Pin

There’s such a sad love deep in David Bowie’s heavily lined and mascara’d eyes…  These beautiful jewelry pieces by TheBlackEmporium were inspired by the film’s dreamy masquerade scene.

Jareth Masquerade Pendant inspired by Labyrinth

‘Hoggle’ Doll Knit Pattern

Knit your own vertically-challenged, anti-social goblin companion with one of AprilDraven’s Hoggle knitting patterns.  This one won’t try to poison you or pee in your fountain.

Hoggle Knit Doll Pattern inspired by Labyrinth

“‘Ello!” Worm Handmade Ring

Now here’s a Labyrinth worm accessory that’s more to scale. With this adorable handmade,  hand painted ring from ArtByAelia, you can literally wrap Labyrinth’s cutest character around your little finger.

Ello Worm Handmade Sculpted Ring inspired by Labyrinth

Disenchanted ‘Door Knocker’ Pin

Knock and the door will open! (Provided you haven’t pissed it off.)  Be a wonderful conversational companion with this hand sculpted goblin pin from froudian artist Trollflings.

Door Knocker Sculpture inspired by Labyrinth

‘Magic Dance’ Cat Colllar

What’s more fun than watching Labyrinth? Watching Labyrinth while humiliating your cat. You and kitty can dance magic dance in style with one of these bitchin’ cat collars from FurButtons.

Dance Magic Dance Cat Collar inspired by Labyrinth

‘Bog of Eternal Stench’ Scented Oil

I’m not sure I want to know what The Bog of Eternal Stench smells like, but for a mere $3.50 you adventurous types can purchase a vial of scented oil from rosemarygrace that smells just like…like…OH WHO CARES WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE, IT’S THE BOG OF ETERNAL STENCH!

Bog of Eternal Stench scented oil inspired by Labyrinth

‘Stupid Baby’ Pin

This hilarious Labyrinth pin by TheCarbonCrusader says it all. Now go say the magic words again.

Funny Pin inspired by Labyrinth

Honorable mention:

In what can only be described as the most majestic work of art I have ever laid eyes upon, “The Goblin King’s Crossing” is a custom oil painting by Unicornatopia of Jareth riding a unicorn, holding aloft his mighty power crystal while familiar Labyrinth dwellers look on with unabashed awe.
"Goblin King's Crossing" Framed Print inspired by Labyrinth

The 2011 Video Games I’m Most Looking Forward To

Some years just plain suck for video games; when there’s hardly any interesting new titles to look forward to, and the hype surrounding big releases turns out to be more exciting than the actual game.  2011 is not going to be one of those years .

At the beginning of every year, I like to make a list of all the upcoming games I want to play and HOLY SHIT  this year is going to be awesome (not to mention expensive).  Here’s what I’m looking forward to the most (as in, I will go out of my way to get these games on release day), in order of release date:

Dragon Age II

Release Date: March 8, 2011
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Set in the same world of Thedas, this sequel to Dragon Age: Origins takes place in a different region of the map called the Free Marches.  Players take on the role of Hawke, a survivor of the Blight and Champion of Kirkwall who rises to power throughout the game, which spans a decade.  One really interesting feature is that the player can import data from Dragon Age: Origins which will reflect choices that the player made in the original game.  One of the major things players complained about in Origins were the graphics.  So far, screenshots have promised to be a major improvement.

Black Mirror 3: Final Fear

Release Date: April 12, 2011
Platform(s): PC

The third and final chapter of the The Black Mirror point-and-click adventure horror series for PC picks up where the second game ends. Players return as protagonist Darren Michaels, who is haunted by the generations-old curse that runs through his bloodline.

Red Johnson’s Chronicles

Release Date: TBA, Spring 2011
Platform(s): PlayStation 3

This PS3 exclusive promises to be a cross between the CSI and Professor Layton titles in terms of gameplay, with beautiful, stylistic graphics that take full advantage of the PS3 hardware. You play as Red, a private eye investigating a high profile murder in a gritty, urban setting akin to New York City. This may turn out to be the most adventure-ish adventure game yet for PS3!

Portal 2

Release Date: April 18, 2011
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Portal was the surprise hit of 2007, and fans of the original game have been clamoring for a sequel ever since.  In Portal 2, players return to the Aperture Science facility to find it dilapidated and will again face rigorous physical tests as we help to rebuild.  We can expect the same innovative style of physics-based puzzle gameplay that made the original so great.

L.A. Noire

Release Date: May 17, 2011
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Set in a very realistic 1947 Los Angeles created as a visual homage to 1940s noir films, L.A. Noire will have players solving murder mysteries in an open-ended, sandbox style environment.  Rockstar promises to deliver “a violent crime thriller that blends breathtaking action with true detective work to deliver an unprecedented interactive experience.”  If this game turns out to be anywhere near as good as Red Dead Redemption, I think we can safely put it in the running for Game of the Year.

ICO / Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection

Release Date: Q1/Q2 2011
Platform(s): PlayStation 3

Originally released on PlayStation 2, ICO and its spiritual successor Shadow of the Colossus are considered to be two of the most important games in terms of artistic expression and emotional response.  Fans of the originals as well as new players who want to experience these journeys for the first time will be treated to a high-definition remake for the PS3 that will also support 3D.

The Last Guardian

Release Date: Q4 2011
Platform(s): PlayStation 3

The newest Team ICO title that fans of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are eagerly awaiting, The Last Guardian will share the same stylistic, thematic, and gameplay elements of its predecessors.

Alice: Madness Returns

Release Date: Q4 2011
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

If you were a fan of American McGee’s critically acclaimed Alice game for PC, no doubt that this upcoming sequel—also designed by American McGee—is on your radar.  Taking place 11 years after the events in the first game, Alice relocates from Rutledge Asylum to the care of a psychiatrist in London where she continues to struggle with reality, slips back into madness and returns a Wonderland overridden with evil.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Release Date: November 1, 2011
Platform(s): Playstation 3

I consider Uncharted and its first sequel two of the best games I have ever played—and I have played a lot of games.  I can’t even begin to imagine how developer Naughty Dog will be able to top itself with this third installment.  The game is set primarily against the arid, desert backdrop of  the Arabian Peninsula as protagonist Nathan Drake goes in search of the legendary lost city, Iram of the Pillars.  The story will focus heavily on the friendship between Drake and his mentor and frequent traveling companion Victor Sullivan.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Release Date: November 11, 2011
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Taking place two-hundred years after the events of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (which, btw, if you haven’t played it, shame on you),  Skyrim returns players to Tamriel, which has erupted into civil war. Players take on the role of the last-surviving Dovahkiin (translation: “Dragonborn”) to save the world from Alduin, god of destruction.   As in previous Elder Scrolls games, I expect an adventure of epic proportions.  The latest issue of GameInformer has a GORGEOUS 10-page spread preview of this game, and it looks absolutely stunning.

I Am Alive

Release Date: TBA, 2011
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

A new, original (read: non-sequel) title that I’m really excited about.  A major earthquake has destroyed Chicago and separated it from the mainland.  Your goal is to survive the apocalyptic-like surroundings by foraging for food and water, and warding off enemies—other human beings who threaten your own survival.  Oh yeah, and you’re also trying to find and rescue your missing girlfriend, too.  The game has been in development since 2005 and suffered numerous setbacks, but is planned to be released sometime this year.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Release Date: TBA, 2011
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii

2011 is a pretty pitiful year for Wii games, with not many new titles on the horizon.  But a new Zelda game, typically heralded by Zelda fans like the second coming, could make up for it. (Though I’m keeping my expectations in check due to the disappointment that was Metroid: Other M.)

Diablo III

Release Date: TBA, 2011
Platform(s): PC

Blizzard has yet to announce a release date for its much-anticipated hack & slash sequel, but most fans of Blizzard games are accustomed to waiting. I just hope not for too much longer!

Child of Eden

Release Date: TBA, 2011
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Remember the shooting game Rez?  (And how amazing it was?)  Developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the man who gave us Rez, returns with a new game similar in concept and gameplay.  Like Rez, the gameplay will be a harmonic fusion of sound, vision and touch as players rhythmically shoot at various targets that produce melodic sounds when destroyed.  I can’t wait to experience it in glorious HD on my 60″ Mitsubishi.

Dead Island

Release Date: TBA, 2011
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

When I first heard about Dead Island—a zombie survival horror FPS set on a deserted island—I dismissed it as just another zombie game. But that was before I saw this trailer.

What games are you really looking forward to this year?